About a six weeks ago, I decided to give up caffeine.

I was drinking so much, I had trouble sleeping and my blood pressure was starting to go up. Caffeine is OK in small doses, my doctor says, but I was consuming way too much.

My favorite source of caffeine: coffee.

Never one to do things half-way, I decided to quit caffeine cold turkey. The wicked headaches that resulted from the withdrawal nearly made me quit, but I was determined.

Now I can say I've mostly kicked the habit. Occasionally, I'll still grab a caffeinated latte when I need a quick pick-me-up or order iced tea at a restaurant, but for the most part, I'm caffeine free.

But I wasn't willing to give up coffee. After going without it for a few weeks, I decided I really missed the flavors in my favorite brews more than I missed the energy boost from the caffeine.

So I switched to decaf and started making coffee drinks and treats at home.

It's a way to satisfy my coffee cravings without the headaches I get from too much caffeine.

Coffee granita with mocha topping

Ingredients

3 cups brewed espresso

1/3 cup Splenda

½ cup whipped topping

1 teaspoon instant coffee

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions

Pour espresso into medium saucepan. Stir in sugar. Heat over low heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves, 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.

Refrigerate mixture until cold, about 2 hours.

Pour mixture into 1½-quart freezer-safe bowl. Freeze until slushy, 1½ to 2 hours. Remove from freezer; break up with fork. Return to freezer until slushy, 1 to 1½ hours. Remove. Using a fork, break up into small crystals. Spoon into four cups.

In a bowl, fold together whipped topping, coffee powder and cocoa. Top granita mixture with whipped cream mixture and serve.

Serves: 4

Mochaccino

Ingredients

1 cup black coffee, brewed and chilled

1 cup low-fat, coffee-flavored ice cream

½ cup chocolate syrup

3 cups crushed ice

Directions

Combine chilled coffee, ice cream and chocolate syrup in a blender. Add enough crushed ice to equal 4 cups; process until smooth.

Serves: 4

- Recipes adapted from weightwatchers.com.

Contact News/Design Editor Clare Haefner at chaefner@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7551.

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